by Anton Shilov
06/01/2007 | 01:59 PM
After years of declining sales of XPC small form-factor (SFF) personal computers (PCs), Shuttle wants to get back to the market of motheboards, but this time the former mainboard maker plans to sell system boards compatible with its XPCs in order to provide some upgrade path for its customers.
During a recent interview with DigiTimes web-site, a Shuttle representative revealed that the company is planning to start shipping standalone motherboards for its XPC line of small form-factor PCs in order to allow end-users to perform upgrades without changing chassis and/or other parts, e.g., cooling system or power supply unit.
The move is claimed to address the needs of end-users on the first place, however, keeping in mind that sales of Shuttle XPC systems themselves have been stagnating and the company had to cancel certain marketing activities as well as projects, it is highly likely that mainboards for XPCs are primarily needed to improve financial results of Shuttle.
The details about the intention are unknown, but what is known is that it has nearly ten XPC-series base models, which may mean that the company should sell approximately ten types of motherboards, something, which is not really easy. However, things may get less complex in future, when Shuttle adopts pico-BTX or DTX form-facts and start making industry-standard SFF PCs.
Shuttle, which was established in 1983, used to manufacture motherboards for the longer part of its history and even became the world’s No. 5 mainboard maker in the world back in 1995. However, as the company evolved, it decided to focus on a more lucrative barebone PC market and later on even on system assembly. But as leading system makers introduced their own SFF computers, sales of Shuttle’s XPC began to drop and now the company wants to go back to mainboard business.